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02 Sep 2020

Residential Property

Buying a house at auction

Buying a house at auction can look like great fun on TV and be an exciting way to bag a bargain property. However, you need to be careful and watch out for the hidden pitfalls. Jamie Beese, a solicitor from our residential property team, has put together some legal tips for buying a house at auction.

When looking for a house

Before going along to an auction and bidding on a property, it is important to be as well informed as possible about the house you are intending to buy. During the viewing and search process, ask as many questions as possible.

The most important document to look at is the legal pack for the property. This is the set of documentation prepared by the seller’s solicitor and will include everything you need to know about the property you are interested in.

The legal pack should contain:

  • Official Copy of Register of Title (Office Copy Entry)
  • Land Registry and Local Searches
  • Special Conditions of Sale
  • Property Information Form
  • Fixtures and Fittings Form
  • Management Information
  • Leases
  • Tenancy Agreements
  • Planning Permission Documentation

Instructing a solicitor

Auction teams will recommend that anyone who is planning to bid at auction should instruct their legal advisors to inspect all elements of the legal pack in advance. Properties may well be at auction because they may be un-mortgageable, have inadequate tenancy agreements, missing title deeds or documents, or be affected by outstanding enforcement notices.

By instructing a specialist legal advisor to check the auction pack ahead of the date of the auction, you can make a well-informed decision on the purchase. Any potential issues can be brought to your attention and you can decide whether still to proceed or to carry out further investigations or negotiations with the seller.

Keep a level head

Buyers can often get carried away in the excitement and buzz of an auction but it is important to keep a level head and only go ahead with the purchase if you’re absolutely sure it’s right for you. Set a maximum budget and, however tempting it may be, don’t let yourself bid more than you can afford.

Once the gavel hits

If you are successful at the auction, you have then committed to the purchase and will need to pay a 10% deposit on the day. Usually you’ll have 28 days from the auction date to confirm and send the final balance of funds to your solicitor in time for completion.

On the completion date set out in the contract (or by earlier mutual agreement with your seller), you will complete on the purchase of the property and be able to collect the keys from the auctioneer.

Get in touch

We understand that buying a property is a huge investment and can be stressful, so we do all we can to make sure your investment is as free from risk as possible.

Our extensive knowledge and experience of the house buying process means we can act efficiently and ensure the best possible quality service so that your purchase all goes smoothly.

Get in touch with the team today by clicking here.




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